The summers have begun and we are planning on a forest escapade, but I had just been to Kemmangundi, which is a hilly area. Therefore we decided to go on a chilled out vacation where it’s not much of hardships of treks.
The first thought that came to all of our minds was hampi, isn’t it but obvious? Some of my friends had not seen it and it had been more than 4 years since I visited Hampi.. BHam! It was wonderful planning the trip, we had 3 days in our disposal, so we decided to cover Badami Caves, Aihole, Pattadkal and Hampi in one Trip.
TRIP PLAN – Bangalore – Gadag – Badami – Pattadkal – Aihole – Hospet – Hampi – Hospet – Bangalore
Badami was known as Vatapi and was the real Capital of the Badami Chalukyas, which was mainly famous for its rock cut structural temples and beautiful location around the Agasthya temple. Pattadkal is a world heritage site and 22Kms from Badami. Aihole village is historic complex from Chalukya Empire.
We reached Gadag at 6am by an overnight bus from Bangalore, and had booked a decent hotel to freshen up and keep our luggage. This was the nearest city to Badami. We were a bunch of 8 people and tried to get ready hurriedly as we had booked a Private Tata Sumo to take us around the historical places.
On reaching Badami, we entered form the museum side and started to walk towards the caves, it was a 2/3km walk inside the neatly paved road and it’s a heaven for photographers and History Lovers! But heads up guys its scorching hot during Jan – June until the monsoon showers.
There is this bhadra river which lures you to sit by its side forever due to its scenic beauty, which is the view of Badami Village and northern hill which is simply breadth taking. On the bank of the river is the Bhootnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated opposite to the Badami Caves. Water from 3 sides of the temple makes this a priceless spot, this place is not for worship anymore.
Take a walk behind the temple and you will find 2 more temples with carvings and a few meters walk there is a small temple like structure which Is under a huge Rock, which forms the cave temple. You need to literally crawl to go inside but its an amazing experience once you enter the tiny cave.
We left fot the Caves, there are total 4 cave temples at different heights. Its worth climbing all the levels of caves. The 1st three caves are dedicated to the Hindu gods where as the 4th cave to Jain gods. Each cave has an extensively elaborate historic symbolism, any history buff would need to take a learned guide and spend more than a day here.
On the way back to the museum which was near the entrance, there is this tiny village which almost resembled Greece… It was a very neatly kept tiny area worth seeing.
By 3pm we left for Pattadkal, but we decided to see Aihole first around 12km from Pattadkal. Aihole was earlier known as Ayyavole or Aryapura the first capital of the Chalukyas before Badami.
As per mythology, Parushurama washed his axe after killing the Kshatriyas at the Malaprabha river, and the river turned red due to the blood. A local lady shouted Ayyo Hole(Oh no blood) and hence its named Aihole. Also it's believed that saint Agasthya killed demon Ilava hence named Aihole, name ‘Aihole’ also means the city of scholars in Sanskrit derived from the word Ayya.
The main attraction is the Durga temple which looks like the Indian Parliament building which is a fusion of the South indian Dravidian style and the North Indian Nagara style, which is a masterpiece. There are other temples like Lad Khan temple and there Is a dedicated museum which is extremely informative, if you really want to know the history of this place.
Tired and it was 6 pm by the time we completed Aihole we had no time for Pattadkal, and due to hunger we left to Gadag. On the way, we had a sumptuous North Karnataka meal, consisting of Jawar roti, rice, dal, Sprouts, Subzi, sambhar, raita, papad. It was spicy and the tastiest food ever. We reached our Hotel Dead tired and just crashed.
We had an early bus to Hospet the next day – yes keep your eyes open for the next blog post on the wonderful Hampi trip, which is the next chapter. Day 2 and Day 3 were way more exciting than Day 1.. Wait and watch!
HOW TO REACH BADAMI?
The Nearest airports to Badami are Hubli (around 106 km) and Belgaum(around 150 km).These airports have connectivity to Bangalore and Mumbai. From Hubli and Belgaum we can reach Badami by taxi OR by bus.
The ‘Badami Railway Station’ is around 5 km from the Badami Bus stand. We can reach Badami through rail connectivity from Bangalore, Hubli, Bijapur, Gadag, and Solapur and from other cities. The nearest major rail junction is Hubli. The Hubli Jn has good rail connectivity with major cities across India. Also direct train is there from Bangalore (Yashawantapura Jn) to Badami.
Badami Train Station Code: BDM
Hubli Train Station Code: UBL
Bangalore Train Station Code: SBC
Badami is well connected by road. We can reach Badami through road connectivity from Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Bangalore, Bagalkot, Hampi, Bijapur, and from many other cities.
Also there is a good number of Govt and Private buses from Bangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Bijapur.
Distance From Various Places To Badami
From Few Major Cities:
Distance from Pune To Badami is: 470 km.
Distance from Bangalore To Badami is: 464 km.
Distance from Hyderabad To Badami is: 420 km.